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  1. #1
    demeter's Avatar
    demeter is offline Breastfeeding since 2008, tandem since 2010 (Free Breastfeeding Support: 1800 686 2 686)
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    Default Bubhubbers Breastfeeding Stories

    Just like birth stories I found women's breastfeeding stories really helpful as I prepared for my own journey. So I thought we could have a thread with BF stories or links to BF stories elsewhere on the forum if yours is too long for one post

    If your story is one where BFing didn't work out for you perhaps you could include a bit at the end about what you think would have helped you, I'm sure other women will be really grateful for your insights

    So, mine (as with all my stories ) is longish, so here's a link to it:


    Looking forward to reading others!
    Last edited by demeter; 17-05-2008 at 00:27.

  2. #2
    our little treasures's Avatar
    our little treasures is offline Gorgeous family wonderful friends <3 life!
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    Wow what a brilliant idea I know that there are a lot of women who never knew it would be painful to bf in the early stages. I also think it will help a lot of women realise that most of us have a huge struggle to breast feed but we get there and end up having a beautiful BF relationship I will add mine tomorrow

  3. #3
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    Great idea - I wrote mine down on the suggestion of a lovely lovely CHN who encouraged me to look at my breastfeeding journey and see it as a success, even though I was never able to breastfeed my daughter, as it was the journey and the effort for my daughter that made it successful, not the ultimate outcome. Obviously I was devastated that I wasn't able to bf and I found writing it all down really helped with the grieving process

    It is too long to post, perhaps I will go back and edit it a bit and post it soon.


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    OMG Demeter I cried so much reading your post (damn Hormones ). Such a wonderful story that has informed me of so much. I am only 13 weeks but I am going to join my local ABA straight away and start attending meetings just so I can hear more stories like yours and gain a bit more insight like you have already given me. Just placed nipple shields on my shopping list! Thank you so much.

    I am definately going to hear all posts in the section!

  5. #5
    demeter's Avatar
    demeter is offline Breastfeeding since 2008, tandem since 2010 (Free Breastfeeding Support: 1800 686 2 686)
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    That's great! I am so glad this thread is helping women already! You may not need the nipple shields, but yeah, after my experience having them in the house can't hurt just in case.

  6. #6
    MilkOnTap's Avatar
    MilkOnTap is offline Rivi Cecilia - my 2nd VBAC Home Birth has arrived!
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    My Breastfeeding Journey thus far....

    In 8 days my baby boy will be one whole year old. Time has flown by so quickly and memories of our journey together come flooding back to me. I am writing our breastfeeding journey down for three reasons. One reason is to assist the healing process in recovering from Jedd’s birth; secondly to let out my emotions about our bonding; and thirdly to encourage others to continue breastfeeding, even when things get tough.

    Prior to Jedd’s arrival I had two ectopic pregnancies – one of which was a cornual ectopic pregnancy that ruptured. Without going into too many details – this means that the top side of my uterus (where the tube connects) ruptured. I lost two angels and still miss them dearly. I also lost my left fallopian tube and in a way, I lost the ability to believe in myself and to believe that my body could still function normally. When I fell pregnant with Jedd, I was terrified. Every twinge and every cramp scared me – however I learned later on that these twinges and cramps are normal in all pregnancies (regardless of pre-natal history).

    I saw two obstetricians and they both told me that it would be safer for both me and the baby to have a caesarean section (c/sect). Ever since I had learned of their existence, I had always longed for a waterbirth. To hear that my first child – and most likely all subsequent children – would have to come into this world through my belly instead of my vagina was devastating. I was a first time mother. I believed what these so-called Medical Professionals told me. I honestly believed it was the safest route for my baby to take. After all – I had already lost two babies, why on earth would I risk the life of a third unnecessarily?

    In order to deal with the grief, I maintained a positive focus on the c/sect. I tried to be glad that we knew when our baby would arrive (would make it easier for Grant to organise paternity leave, and for my mother to arrange flights). I tried to be cheery about being able to do my hair and make up for one last time before going into the hospital. But inside I was absolutely devastated and a total wreck. No one knew it but me. Even Grant genuinely believed that I was excited to be having a c/sect.

    So the 28th of May arrived and we drove up to the hospital. By 12:30 noon our son was earthside – but I didn’t feel any different. I didn’t feel a wave of excitement. I didn’t even know what to do with him. Yes, I goo-ed and gaa-ed over him (because thats whats expected of a new mother) but I didn’t bond with him at all. I WAS however, determined that I would breastfeed him – and thank God I went into the pregnancy and birth with this determination – otherwise I still would not have bonded with him.

    Jedd was born 4.3kg (9lb 7.5oz) and 54cm long. He was massive! I had gestational diabetes though, so this weight was never his genetically designed weight to be birthed.

    The first time I held him in my arms to my breast was horrible. I had heard horror stories about midwives forcing the babies head onto the mothers breast and so I knew before going into hospital that I didn’t want this to happen to me. I told Grant that I wanted the space to do it myself and even though I had a midwife hovering as I said to her “does this look right from there?” and she encouraged me that Jedd was attached beautifully.

    The next two days in hospital, Jedd still attached fantastically – until the third day when the baby blues set in. I was a mess and even though I had been feeding him for three days, I was exhausted, emotional and teary – and still hadn’t bonded with him.

    I decided that I wanted to go home early. It wasn’t early enough to receive the home-midwifery service (found out about it 4 hours too late!) but I wanted to be in my own space with a bit more privacy to do things how I wanted to do them. In hindsight I’m glad I went home when I did, and even think that going home a day earlier might have been better still. When we left the hospital Jedd had dropped back to 3.88kg and already looked less inflated.

    Once we got home, Jedd was feeding every two hours for at least an hour. This meant I had a maximum of one hour sleep in between feeds. I was absolutely exhausted. With the exhaustion came slack attachment, and my nipples began to blister and bleed. One day my left nipple was so bad, that Jedd actually had blood dripping out of his mouth! It was so scary and I felt like the worst mother in the world. I still hadn’t bonded with my baby. To me – he was a vegetable who was so dependant on me that I felt trapped to be a housewife forever.

    I didn’t want to try nipple shields, mostly because of my pride – but also because I had heard about babies who suffer from nipple confusion after being weaned off the shields. I knew that I needed to keep on breastfeeding my son as naturally as possible – otherwise we were never going to bond.

    I desperately wanted to succeed with breastfeeding though, but still had thoughts about switching him to formula. After all – its got to be easier right? I then made the decision that IF I felt that way for a whole week, then I could switch him. I didn’t want to make a decision that I couldn’t take back – or would possibly regret later on. So whenever I felt like switching him, I wrote down the day on the calendar. Within two or three days those feelings were always gone, and I was always relieved that I had kept him on the breast.

    At Jedd’s 2 week check up he had lost more weight and dropped down to 3.7kg.

    3 weeks after Jedd’s birth, something strange happened. My breasts felt engorged! They felt SO full! I then realised that my milk had never actually come in properly before now! That week, Jedd weighed in at 4kg and I finally felt like we were making progress!

    He continued to gain a steady 100-150gm per fortnight, which was half what the CHN wanted us to make. I tried and tried to express but was never able to get more than 5 or 10mL. I was being advised weekly to give him formula top-ups, but my gut told me no. My instincts told me that he was healthy, rosy, had enough wet nappies etc that he didn’t need the formula. However my breasts ached so much that I gave in. From 6 weeks old Jedd had a bottle at night time before sleep.

    I hadn’t educated myself on weight gains though. I didn’t know that the charts that the health nurse was using were intended for formula-fed babies – not breastfed babies. I called the ABA every second or third day and the women were absolutely lovely and so helpful. They helped put my mind at ease and encouraged me that breastfeeding was the right decision.

    At about 8 weeks all my nipple problems and supply issues had settled down – and Jedd was finally back at his birth weight! Still unable to express I had finally accepted that I was just one of those women who are unable to do it. Would have been handy – but hey, at least I tried.

    Somewhere between 8 weeks and 4 months is when we bonded more. I didn’t hate him for putting me through nipple pain. I enjoyed knowing that I was able to continue to grow him outside of my womb, and I finally began to enjoy having him in my life. Yes – that is when I can safely say that I learned how to love my son.

    Jedd’s Blue book reminds me that it was at around 15 weeks that I suspected that he may have silent reflux. He was always unsettled after feeds, would throw his head back in pain, scream and scream and scream at the breast. I knew something wasn’t right and my instincts told me it was silent reflux.

    I took him to the CHN who recommended that I give him formula. I took him to another CHN who also recommended formula. I then took him to a paediatrician who said that he was fine and just to keep on breastfeeding. So then I took him to a GP at my local medical centre who asked me ‘whats reflux?’ Then I heard through a friend of a lovely family doctor in the next suburb. I took Jedd along and proceeded to break down in her office, pleading for a trial of Losec. Within a week of taking the Losec, Jedd was a new baby!! He was happier, more settled, more content, he fed better and gained weight more steadily.

    So here we are – I have a 5 month old son and have been recommended to give him formula by at least half a dozen ‘health professionals’. I am so glad that I stuck to my guns and said no – but at the same time I was sad that he was still having a bottle at night time.

    Jedd’s sleeping patterns were never predictable. He co-slept with us, but none of us ever slept very well. I put his name down for Karitane – a local sleep school – to help us get him sleeping through the night and to help us wean him off being wrapped, and off his night bottle. Wow – this was a lot to conquer all at once, but with the help of the nurses we did it!

    After one week at Karitane at 7 months old, Jedd was now sleeping through the night, not having any formula at all and didn’t insist on being wrapped to sleep! Success!!

    5 months later, Jedd is about to turn one year old. The only time he has formula now is one bottle when he is in daycare, one day a week. I am still unable to express, but I don’t worry about it as much as I used to. I love breastfeeding him now, and love it when he asks me for boobie-juice! He is a beautiful boy and I truly do love him now. I know that if I hadn’t persisted with breastfeeding, our relationship would be no more than woman and child... but instead we are mother and son. I love Jedd incredibly and I owe the intimacy of our relationship to our breastfeeding bond.

  7. #7
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    My DS was born with the assistance of forceps and I think that may have hindered his sucking reflex in the beginning.

    I tried to breastfeed him as soon as he was born but he would just look at me and not open his mouth at all - he seemed lethargic. I figured it was because I had an epidural and he had jaundice. I just had to keep waiting for him to yawn or I would sort of push my nipple in his mouth.

    In the beginning, I thought I was doing it wrong because he wanted to feed all the time but I was so lucky that I had a good friend of mine and my mum to help me out and they guaranteed me that it was normal and just him building up my supply.

    I went through all of the cracked / bleeding nipples, engorgement, a bad bout of mastitis at 13 months and was lucky enough to have perservered through it all and am still breastfeeding my little man at 2 years.

    I would have to say it didn't come "naturally" to me and DS until he was around 3 months. I think it's something that both mother and baby have to learn and a lot of people give up very easily. Of course, some women and babies are lucky enough to just do it from the get go I'm hoping that's me next time!

  8. #8
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    I have a partial story up here.

    It was a bit more focussed on the bad and the ugly due to the nature of the thread. Will endeavour to write a more encompassing addition soon

  9. #9
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    Here's my story to date:

    I first breastfed DS after they had stabilised him after birth. I remember the midwife helping him to attach and then saying to me, "you do want to breastfeed don't you?" I remember thinking it was odd because of course I wanted to

    On day 2 I got a blister on one nipple after I was too lazy to reattach DS when he didn't attach properly. It was a bit uncomfortable for a day or two but soon went away on its own.

    I was discharged from hospital with the breastfeeding well established and I had plenty of milk. So far so good. The first week was fantastic, I really loved feeding DS although it was exhausting and left me with no time for anything else.

    During the second week my right breast got incredibly sore. Tears of pain would stream down my face every time I put DS on. My nipple was cracked and I had a red line across my breast which I knew meant I had a blocked duct. Every time DS would attach tears of pain streamed down my face. I tried warm showers, compresses and massage to help the blockage clear but to no avail.

    At this time I went to my first mothers meeting at the early childhood centre. I remember being surprised at how few women with babies that were only 1-6 weeks old were no longer breastfeeding. The reasons were many and varied, from one baby being tongue-tied, milk coming in late, comp feeding because of not enough milk. In my opinion most babies would have still been breastfed if the mothers had been better informed. One mother really stood out for me. She also had a blocked duct and the beginnings of mastitis but she was beginning to doubt her ability to feed her child.

    At the meeting the MCHN talked about how to unblock a blocked duct and on the way home I called in to the chemist and bought a breastpump. When I got home I sat on the lounge with a bowl of hot water, a facewasher and my pump. I warmed my breast with the warm water and began pumping with one hand and massaging my breast with the other. I was determined to unblock the duct. After about ten minutes I heard a “pop” and had a fountain of milk spurting in the air. After about one minute the fountain stopped and the blockage had gone. To ease the cracked nipples I would take a jar of pure lanolin in the shower with me and continuously massage it in. The warmth of the shower helped it be absorbed and in a few days my nipples had healed.

    The following week I was back at the mothers’ meeting with no pain or problems whatsoever. The other mother with the blocked duct had given up breastfeeding. I felt very sad for her.

    When DS was four weeks old he started to have very long feeds of up to an hour and a half. He was also feeding every three hours. At this time I had cause to call in to the hospital where I had DS. I saw a midwife who was at DS’s birth and he asked how I was going. I mentioned the long, frequent feeds and she started asking questions about whether DS was growing well. She insinuated that such long frequent feeds was something to be concerned about. I’m glad I didn’t listen to her because my supply soon caught up to demand and I never had a feeding problem again. I think DS was just going through a growth spurt.

    DS gave up night feeds at seven weeks old. It’s a fallacy that babies won’t sleep through the night until they are on solids. He was exclusively breastfed for five months until he started demanding solids. For the first five months of his life his average weekly weight gain was 250g. He is 13 months old now and still has one feed a day. None of my friends have breastfed their baby for as long.

    Many people think that bottle-feeding is the easy option but I don’t agree. Breastfeeding is convenient, you don’t need to worry about overfeeding, it is always there when you need it and it’s a great comforter. I am so glad I persisted with the pain at the beginning because since then it has been a dream run. And I believe DS is happier and healthier for it.

  10. #10
    demeter's Avatar
    demeter is offline Breastfeeding since 2008, tandem since 2010 (Free Breastfeeding Support: 1800 686 2 686)
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    OMG you all have such inspiring stories. Thank you so much for sharing them
    Beany, I can definitely relate to the lonliness in your post. I remember feeling like the first and only woman to have had problems feeding my baby in those first few days.


 

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